50 Years in Music. Quincy Jones & Friends. This concert celebrates Jones's 50th year in the musical industry, and was staged in Switzerland at their annual Jazz Festival. Stars such as David Sanborn and Phil Collins joined Jones on stage as the talented musician covered a broad range of styles, making this a night of touching tribute and gloriously uplifting music.
On July 14th, 2008, a very special event took place at the Stravinsky Auditorium in Montreux, Switzerland. A number of musicians who have had the opportunity to work with Jones during the years gathered to celebrate his 75th birthday. For well over two hours, they sang, played, joked and thanked a living legend.
The actual concert is truly impossible to describe with simple words. Even a quick glance at the names of the musicians who took the stage should immediately reveal to you how incredibly influential Jones has been. In fact, one could argue that many of them have been just as influential as Jones – years from now, people will still talk about Chaka Khan, Herbie Hanckok, Al Jarreau, James Moody and Toots Thielemans.
In a musical career that has spanned seven decades, Quincy Jones has earned his reputation as a renaissance man of American music. Jones has distinguished himself as a bandleader, a solo artist, a sideman, a songwriter, a producer, an arranger, a film composer, and a record label executive, and outside of music, he's also written books, produced major motion pictures, and helped create television series. And a quick look at a few of the artists Jones has worked with suggests the remarkable diversity of his career – Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Lesley Gore, Michael Jackson, Peggy Lee, Ray Charles, Paul Simon, and Aretha Franklin.
An enormous commercial success, 1981's The Dude is a cross-cultural success blending jazz, Latin music, soul ballads, and straight pop into an admittedly slick but never over-produced or soulless stew. The album opens with a surprise: "Ai No Corrida" is a synthesizer-driven yet still funky Latin dance track written by Chaz Jankel of Ian Dury & the Blockheads, suggesting that unlike a lot of musicians his age, Quincy Jones kept his ears open to new music. The proto-rap title track accomplishes the same thing. The rest of the album is more conventional, with James Ingram and Patti Austin trading vocals on a smooth collection of tracks highlighted by the masterful love ballads "One Hundred Ways" and "Just Once," staples of adult contemporary stations, and the haunting Stevie Wonder-penned instrumental "Velas." The Dude is an outstanding collection that was massively influential on the '80s R&B scene.